Used Electric Cars Are the Best Option for the Budget-Minded Consumer
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Used Electric Cars Are the Best Option for the Budget-Minded Consumer

Nissan Leaf driving on road, side front view, inexpensive used electric cars
  • Prices on used EVs are dropping fast, making them a good idea for drivers on a budget. 
  • Buyers who may be concerned about a used EV’s battery health can receive reports to ease that worry.
  • There are plenty of reasonably priced used EVs to choose from already on the market.

New car prices are coming down, but buying a new ICE vehicle is still out of reach for many price-sensitive consumers. Price also is often cited as a barrier to buying a new EV. Used ICE vehicles are getting cheaper but are still pretty pricey. Used electric cars are where there are bargains to be had.


Those low prices could bring buyers into the fold who might not have considered an EV, but sellers of used EV cars need to educate potential buyers about the opportunity, including dispelling fears.

“As is so often the case, there is the reality and the knowledge of the reality,” Karl Brauer, executive analyst at, told Electrify News in an interview.

The price for a used electric vehicle has dropped 10 times faster in the past year than for a used ICE vehicle, according to iSeeCars data. In February, used electric cars were 31.8% cheaper than at the same time a year ago. Used EVs and used ICE vehicles have reached price parity. The average price for a used car, regardless of drivetrain, is now around $31,000, Brauer said.

If a used EV buyer’s income is low enough, they will qualify for a $4,000 point of sale rebate, bringing the price down even more.

Because an EV owner won’t be paying for gas and EV maintenance costs are “almost always” lower than for an ICE vehicle, used EV cars are “actually a better deal” for price sensitive shoppers, Bauer said.


Battery Concerns

Image care of Tesla

Still, a used EV isn’t on the consideration list for many consumers.  A YouGov poll found that 61% of U.S. consumers are deterred from buying a used electric car due to concerns about battery health and range.

However, studies have shown that used electric vehicles’ batteries still have plenty of life left in them. Buyers can even get reports on used EV cars’ battery health from firms such as Recurrent. So, used electric cars are not “ticking time bombs” waiting to slap the owner with a huge maintenance bill. Many shoppers don’t know that, however.

“There is now a solution to [the question of] ‘what is the deal with this used EV’s battery? How long will it be until it dies on me?’” Brauer said. “Now there is an answer [but] few used car buyers know that.”

Used Electric Cars for Sale

Image care of Chevrolet

What are the best used electric cars for the budget-minded? A used Chevrolet Bolt or Nissan Leaf will set you back less than $18,000, according to iSeeCars.

But that is the national average. Depending on your location, you might find a better deal. In Los Angeles and Chicago, for example, a used Leaf can cost less than $17,000. 


Plenty of Used EV Cars

One concern of potential used EV buyers was supply, the YouGov poll found. But wholesale auctions — which sell used vehicles — expect the supply of used EVs to grow exponentially in the next few years because of rising new EV sales. Wholesale supply dictates used retail supply.

And a flood of new BEV models entering the market including 37 new models in 2024 and 34 in 2025, according to Cox Automotive, will mean more choices for used EV buyers.

To be sure, not all of those models will be priced for the budget-minded consumer when they hit the used market. But there are plenty of reasonably-priced EVs coming out this year. When they hit the used EV market, that price will be even more reasonable. There will surely be a used EV for every budget.

Dealers and others need to get the word out.



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One Response

  1. You would need a crystal ball to guarantee a battery won’t fail. Plenty of stories where the battery failed out of the blue and was out of warranty. Recurrent can give you insights of useful range though, after battery degradation.

    I wonder if extended warranty can cover batteries.

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